66 Estonia

Three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), black, and white. Various interpretations are linked to the flag colors. Blue represents faith, loyalty, and devotion, while also reminiscent of the sky, sea, and lakes of the country. Black symbolizes the soil of the country and the dark past and suffering endured by the Estonian people. White refers to the striving towards enlightenment and virtue, and is the color of birch bark and snow, as well as summer nights illuminated by the midnight sun.

Flag courtesy of the CIA World Factbook

Map courtesy of the CIA World Factbook

Google Earth

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in the upper town of Tallinn was completed in 1900.

Photo courtesy of the CIA World Factbook

Estonia is a member of ICAO, EUROCONTROL, JARUS, EASA, and the EU.
Last updated on April 17, 2024


According to Britannica, among the many initiatives of the Estonian government after independence from the U.S.S.R. was declared in August 1991 were preparation of a constitution, including the protection of minority group rights; proposed negotiations with Russia over territory lost during border adjustments following the Soviet occupation of 1940; and the development of legislation that would assist in the conversion to a market economy. A new constitution, based largely on the 1938 document that provided the basis for Estonia’s pre-Soviet government structure, was approved by voters in a June 1992 referendum and came into effect in early July.

Guaranteeing the preservation of the Estonian nation and its culture, this document established a unicameral legislature, the Riigikogu (parliament), whose members are directly elected through proportional representation to four-year terms. The president, who serves as the head of state and supreme commander of the armed forces, is elected to not more than two consecutive five-year terms by the Riigikogu. Executive power rests with the prime minister, who is nominated by the president, and with the Council of Ministers. The government is responsible for implementing domestic and foreign policies and for coordinating the work of government institutions.

Estonia is divided into 15 maakonnad (counties), which are further divided into vallad (parishes). In addition to parish governments, there are administrative bodies for a number of towns and independent municipalities. The parishes are further divided into külad (villages) and asulad (townships).

The judiciary comprises rural, city, administrative, and criminal courts, regional and appellate courts, and the National Court, which is the court of final appeal. A legal chancellor is appointed by the Riigikogu to provide guidance on constitutional matters.

Civil / National Aviation Authority (CAA/NAA)

The Estonian Transport Administration was created on 1 January 2021 by merging the Civil Aviation Administration, the Road Administration and the Maritime Administration, this becoming their legal successor.


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ICAO countries publish an Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP). This document is divided into three parts: General (GEN), En Route (ENR) and Aerodromes (AD). ENR 1.4 details the types of airspace classes they chose to adopt from classes A through G. Estonia eAIP

Airspace Classification

Airspace Classification

Aeronautical information service is provided by the AIM Department of Lennuliiklusteeninduse AS (Estonian Air Navigation Services).

Drone Regulations

Drone laws

As of 1 July 2021, owners of drones are required to register as drone operators in the Estonian Transport Administration’s Flight Safety Supervision Information System (LOIS), pursuant to the European Commission Implementing Regulation 2019/947.

An operator has to register itself or its company as a drone operator. Remote pilots will have to acquire the basic A1/A3 certificate of competency. Both of these can be done in LOIS. Estonian Transport Administration requires operators to check the areas, where flights have to be coordinated with Estonian Transport Administration. One option is to use drooni.app website, where an application for the flight can be filled out as well.

European Union (EU) residents must register in the EU member state of their main residence(or principal place of business. Non-EU residents must register in the EU member state in which they intend to operate their drone first. If the first drone operation will take place in Estonia, please contact Estonian Transport Administration for further instructions.

All flights in the open category must be flown according to the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 (flying in VLOS, max height 120 meters, weight limitations etc). To fly in the specific category, the drone operator requires an operational authorization from the national aviation authority of the member state of registration before the operation takes place, following the specific operation risk assessment (SORA) process.

More information from info@transpordiamet.ee.

How to operate UA

UA (unmanned aircraft) shall be operated in accordance with the following national requirements:

  • Aviation Act
  • Regulation of the Government of the Republic No 240
  • Regulation of the Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure No 24
  • Regulation of the Government of the Republic No 189
  • General Precept of Director General of the Estonian Civil Aviation Administration No 4.1-7/15/33 of 9 June 2015

In addition, UA operator must acquaint himself/herself with the information in currently valid Estonian AIP, its Supplements and NOTAMs.
A special permit from the Estonian CAA is mandatory when operating UA in the following areas:

  • controlled airspace (map attached),
  • flight information zones (map attached),
  • restricted areas (map attached),
  • anywhere in the Estonian airspace higher than 500 ft / 150 m AGL.

When flying your UA outside of the above-mentioned areas, then no permit is needed. Of course, the UA operator must not endanger third parties when conducting his/her operations.
In order to get the special permit, an application containing the following information about the UA operator or enterprise shall be submitted to the Estonian CAA:

  • legal name (in case of an enterprise)
  • business registry code (if applicable)
  • address
  • phone number
  • email address
  • names and personal identification numbers of the RPA pilots.

The application for a special permit must be signed by the person who has right of representation of the enterprise.
According to the Aviation Act §51 (5) and State Fees Act § 168, a state fee 45 euros must be paid for the review of an application for a special permit obtained from the Estonian CAA.
State fees for Estonian CAA acts shall be paid as follows:

Beneficiary customer: Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Estonia
Beneficiary address: Endla 13, Tallinn 10122 ESTONIA
Reference no: 2900073106
Details of payment: (for example: special permit for RPA operations)

Beneficiary’s bank / account:
SEB: IBAN EE89 1010 2200 3479 6011, BIC / SWIFT: EEUHEE2X
Swedbank: IBAN EE93 2200 2210 2377 8606, BIC / SWIFT: HABAEE2X
Danske Bank: IBAN EE40 3300 3334 1611 0002, BIC / SWIFT: FOREEE2X
Nordea: IBAN EE70 1700 0170 0157 7198, BIC / SWIFT: NDEAEE2X
Estonian CAA issues the special permit for UA operators with a validity of one year.
Furthermore, all particular UA flights in the areas where a special permit is required must be coordinated with Estonian CAA so as to inform in advance appropriate air traffic services units.
Consequently, there are two procedures:

  1. issue of a special permit,
  2. coordination with the CAA.


For coordination, another application shall be submitted with the following information:

  • place of operations (e.g centre coordinates with radius) with map attached,
  • purpose of the flight,
  • maximum height above ground level,
  • time of operations,
  • back-up plan in case of loss of control,
  • phone number from which the RPA operator can be promptly reached,
  • contact details of the applicant.


Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)

2023 – Estonia launches U-space sandbox with ANRA to expand development of drone services

2023 – Paris 2023: Thales reinforces support to Estonia for defense, including low altitude airspace

2023 – Estonia Transforms Drone Operations with FREQUENTIS’ Cutting-Edge UTM Suite

2024 – ANRA Technologies partners with Estonian Aviation Academy to establish U-space Test Center


Short Essay Questions

Question 1

You have been hired by a Drone Startup Company. Your boss has immediately assigned this job to you.

They need you to prepare a one-page memo detailing the legalities of using a drone to film over Tallinn, pictured above.

They need you to mention any national laws and local ordinances.

They specifically want to know what airspace you will be operating in and whether or not you need an airspace authorization.

Does it matter whether or not you are a citizen of the country?

Lastly, there is a bonus for you if, as you scroll through this chapter, you find any typos or broken links!

Question 2

Do you need a certificate to fly UAS?

If so, how do you obtain one?

Are there fees associated with this?

If so, how much?

Question 3

May you operate beyond visual line of sight?

If so, what procedures must you follow?

Question 4

Does the country have UAM/AAM laws? If so, describe, citing the exact law.

Question 5

Are you aware of any new laws or policies not mentioned above? If so, describe, citing the exact law or policy.





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Drones Across the World Copyright © 2023 by Sarah Nilsson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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